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Infrastructure Boost Is Driving India’s Economic Growth

Context:

In the 76 years since gaining independence, there has been consistent advancement in infrastructure development in India. This progress has entailed the construction of vital assets in crucial sectors. With a dedicated emphasis on fortifying its infrastructure, India has been reshaping its urban and rural areas into hubs of innovation, connectivity, and economic vitality. The country is poised for significant transformation in the realm of infrastructure over the next 25 years, driven by Prime Minister’s vision to elevate India to the status of a developed nation by 2047.

Relevance:

GS3- Industry and Infrastructure

Mains Question:

The goal of becoming a US$5 trillion economy by 2025 hinges on India’s infrastructure development. Analyse the various government initiatives taken in this regard. (15 marks, 250 words).

Budget 23-24 on infrastructure:

  • The budget introduced an extension of the 50-year interest-free loan to state governments for an additional year, which serves as an incentive for them to invest in infrastructure and implement supportive policies. Notably, the allocated amount for this extension has been increased significantly to Rs. 1.3 lakh crore.
  • Furthermore, the budget earmarked a 33% increase in funding for infrastructure development, amounting to Rs. 10 lakh crore. This allocation represents 3.3% of the GDP, a threefold increase compared to the allocation in 2019–20.
  • The Budget for 2023 also unveiled plans for establishing a new Finance Secretariat to facilitate private investments in various infrastructure projects. This initiative aims to promote increased private funding in critical areas like railways, roads, urban infrastructure, and power, benefiting all stakeholders involved.
  • The concept of “Amrit Kaal,” or the “Era of Nectar,” symbolizes the government’s vision to create prosperous urban centers equipped with modern amenities. Within the framework of Amrit Kaal, infrastructure serves as the cornerstone, driving economic growth, societal progress, and environmental sustainability.
  • The Budget for 2023–24 aligns with the vision of Amrit Kaal by allocating substantial resources to boost infrastructure development, further supporting the transformation of cities into thriving, contemporary, and sustainable hubs.

Infrastructure Projects and Approach:

Bharatmala ProjectThis road development venture has effectively linked remote areas, reduced travel times, and fostered trade and tourism. It serves as a testament to the government’s dedication to enhancing national connectivity. Launched in 2017, the Bharatmala Project aims to construct approximately 34,800 kilometers of highways, with an estimated budget exceeding ₹5.35 lakh crore.
Gati Shakti and Industrial CorridorsInitiated in 2019, the primary goal of this project is to streamline the planning and execution of fundamental infrastructure ventures over the next four years, with a specific focus on expediting on-ground activities, reducing costs, and generating employment.
Sagarmala ProjectIndian government seeks to enhance port facilities and connectivity under this, thus stimulating trade and coastal economies. This project aligns ports with road, rail, and water networks, reinforcing India’s maritime capabilities.
Indian RailwaysThe Indian Railways have also experienced significant capacity expansion through activities such as doubling of rail lines and electrification. Additionally, the Vande Bharat Trains represent a major achievement. These trains, a shining example of the “Make in India” initiative, have revolutionized travel in India.
Sustainable InfrastructureThrough a focus on renewable energy, environmentally conscious construction techniques, and efficient waste management, India is working towards establishing a lasting infrastructure while mitigating its impact on the environment.
RITES Limited, a government-owned entity operating under the Ministry of Railways, plays a pivotal role in advancing India’s sustainable infrastructure endeavors. Sustainable infrastructure promotes environmental sustainability while supporting economic and social development.

Conclusion:

It is evident that achieving the goal of becoming a US$5 trillion economy by 2025 hinges on India’s infrastructure development. India’s progress in bolstering its infrastructure has been truly remarkable. A range of initiatives and strategies, including the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) and the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan, are elevating the country’s infrastructure sector to new heights. With essential projects already underway and innovative ones on the horizon, India’s infrastructure expansion continues to play a crucial role in driving the nation’s economic advancement.


April 2024
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